The Context

As recent as a few years ago, negative critics of homeschooling and of homeschool advocacy were claiming that research on homeschooling tells us almost nothing. More recently, the criticism of positive claims about homeschooling’s effects has been softened by some. For example, consider the following: Those claims [“that homeschooling ‘works’ and ‘leads to’ desirable outcomes”] might be true but cannot be supported by analyses of extant empirical evidence.

Regardless of whether these writers’ claim was true in 2013, is there any recent information that tells us anything definite about homeschooling and its effects? Yes, and it reveals more than many critics seem to want to admit.

One Recent Review of Research

Just two months ago, the peer-reviewed Journal of School Choice, published my manuscript entitled “A Systematic Review of the Empirical Research on Selected Aspects of Homeschooling as a School Choice.”  The purpose of the article is to give the demographic characteristics of the U.S. homeschooling
population and the reasons that parents choose to homeschool, summarize the findings of studies on the homeschool learner outcomes of academic achievement, social development, and success in adulthood, and propose future research on parent-led home-based education.

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